Issue - meetings

MTFP Cabinet Response: Our Budget Choices for 2019/20 - Scrutiny Consultation Round 3 (Jan 2019)

Meeting: 24/01/2019 - Economy & Regeneration Scrutiny Committee (Item 4)

4 Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) Cabinet Response: Our Budget Choices for 2019/20 - Scrutiny Consultation Round 3 (Jan 2019) pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration

 

The Cabinet has developed a four year medium term strategy based around five cross-cutting themes. These frame the choices the Council need to make about its budget both next year and in future years, the five themes are:

 

·          Getting the most out of our spending;

·          Improving Customer Experience;

·          Making sure we have the right property in the right places;

·          Sharing services with other organisations;

·          An organisation fit for the future.

 

A suite of proposals have been developed by Cabinet which forms the first phase of this programme for 2019/20. Scrutiny has since received a series of updates on the development of these proposals. This report forms the latest update and in line with the update provided to committees in November, in particular includes consideration of proposals for 2019/20, prior to Cabinet decision-making in February.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to comment upon the proposals appended to this report.

 

Officer Contact: Holly Rae on 0161 474 3014 or emailholly.rae@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing a suite of proposals that had been developed by the Cabinet as part of a four year medium term strategy based around five cross - cutting themes which framed the choices the Council needed to make about its budget both next year and in future years. The report included the results of consultation exercises or interim feedback where those consultations were ongoing, as well as Equality Impact Assessments.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

 

Town Centre Shuttle Bus

 

·         A Member felt that the proposal to cease funding for the free Metroshuttle service after the current contract ended on 27 April 2019 could potentially mean that motorists made an increasing number of small car journeys around the town centre with the consequential effect on air quality. He also queried the validity of a consultation exercise where there was approximately 300 responses from the 4,000 passengers who used the service per week.

·         Information was requested on the discussions which were being held with local transport providers regarding the potential to run new routes and therefore increase connectivity in the town centre and also the discussions which were being held with community transport services such as Ring and Ride and also local supermarkets and the owners of the Peel Centre.

·         Concern was expressed with regard to the effect that the proposal would have on the Council’s aspiration to increase town centre living.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted and the comments of the Scrutiny Committee be forwarded to the Cabinet for consideration.

 


Meeting: 23/01/2019 - Children & Families Scrutiny Committee (Item 5)

5 MTFP Cabinet Response: Our Budget Choices for 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 76 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Members for Children & Family Services and for Education

 

The Cabinet has developed a four year medium term strategy based around five cross-cutting themes. These frame the choices the Council need to make about its budget both next year and in future years, the five themes are:

 

·           Getting the most out of our spending;

·           Improving Customer Experience;

·           Making sure we have the right property in the right places;

·           Sharing services with other organisations;

·           An organisation fit for the future.

 

A suite of proposals have been developed by Cabinet which forms the first phase of this programme for 19/20. Scrutiny has since received a series of updates on the development of these proposals. This report forms the latest update and in line with the update provided to committees in November, particular includes consideration of proposals for 2019/20, prior to Cabinet decision-making in February.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to comment upon the proposals appended to this report.

 

Officer contact: Holly Rae, 0161 474 3014, holly.rae@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Members for Children & Families and Education submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing an update on the development of the budget choices for 2019/2020 for comment prior to consideration by the Cabinet.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

·         A number of members reiterated their concerns in respect to the removal of the faith element for the provision of school bus passes even as part of a planned phased approach. It was suggested that alternatives be explored for what amounted to a relatively small saving.

·         The funding associated with the transfer of anti-social behaviour responsibilities to Stockport Homes Ltd.

·         Councillors requested further detailed information in respect to the Stockport Local Assistance Scheme.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.


Meeting: 22/01/2019 - Corporate, Resource Management & Governance Scrutiny Committee (Item 8)

8 MTFP Cabinet Response: Our Budget Choices for 2019/20 - Scrutiny Consultation Round 3 (Jan 2019) pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Reform & Governance

 

The Cabinet has developed a four year medium term strategy based around five cross-cutting themes. These frame the choices the Council need to make about its budget both next year and in future years, the five themes are:

 

           Getting the most out of our spending;

           Improving Customer Experience;

           Making sure we have the right property in the right places;

           Sharing services with other organisations;

           An organisation fit for the future.

 

A suite of proposals have been developed by Cabinet which forms the first phase of this programme for 19/20. Scrutiny has since received a series of updates on the development of these proposals. This report forms the latest update and in line with the update provided to committees in November, particular includes consideration of proposals for 2019/20, prior to Cabinet decision-making in February.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to comment upon the proposals appended to this report.

 

Officer contact: Holly Rae, 0161 474 3014, holly.rae@stockport.gov.uk   

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance and Reform and the Cabinet Member for Reform & Governance submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Scrutiny Committee to consider the Cabinet’s proposals to address the Medium Term Financial Plan forecasts. The report included the results of consultation exercises or interim feedback where those consultations were ongoing, as well as Equality Impact Assessments.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         Careful consideration was needed in relation to the documents submitted to scrutiny committee to minimise the volume of information, particularly where proposals were not being progressed.

·         Concern was expressed about the relatively low levels of consultation response to some proposals. In response it was stated that the Cabinet was keen to ensure engagement with the public and stakeholders, and that each consultation was tailored to ensure that it was most appropriate to the proposal. It was further commented that while the Council would do all it could to consult the public may simply chose not to respond.

·         The start of the second phase of consultation on the revised Greater Manchester Spatial Framework was welcomed. Concern was expressed that over reliance on digital consultation would excluded some residents, and the choice of community venues for engagement sessions were inappropriate given the likely level of public interest.

·         In response to concerns about the Support & Governance proposals it was confirmed that work was ongoing and a report would be submitted to the Constitution Working Party in due course.

·         Clarification was sought on what progress had been made with Proposal 14 – Local Centres, as this no longer featured in the report. In response it was stated that after some initial work had been done it had been decided to broaden the scope of the project. It was confirmed that it would form part of future proposals.

 

RESOLVED – (1) That the report be noted.

 

(2) That the Deputy Chief Executive be requested to submit a report to a future meeting on progress with implementing the recommendations of the Consultations Scrutiny Review.

 


Meeting: 21/01/2019 - Communities & Housing Scrutiny Committee (Item 5)

5 MTFP Cabinet Response: Our Budget Chocies for 2019/20 - Scrutiny Consultation Round 3 (Jan 2019) pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Communities & Housing

 

The Cabinet has developed a four year medium term strategy based around five cross-cutting themes. These frame the choices the Council need to make about its budget both next year and in future years, the five themes are:

 

·          Getting the most out of our spending;

·          Improving Customer Experience;

·          Making sure we have the right property in the right places;

·          Sharing services with other organisations;

·          An organisation fit for the future.

 

A suite of proposals have been developed by Cabinet which forms the first phase of this programme for 19/20. Scrutiny has since received a series of updates on the development of these proposals. This report forms the latest update and in line with the update provided to committees in November, particular includes consideration of proposals for 2019/20, prior to Cabinet decision-making in February.

 

NOTE: Proposal 7 relating to Public Realm has been marked ‘to follow’ and will be published on Monday, 14 January 2019.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to comment upon the proposals appended to this report.

 

Officer contact: Holly Rae on 0161 474 3014 or emailholly.rae@stockport.gov.uk

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Communities & Housing submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing a suite of proposals that had been developed by the Cabinet as part of a four year medium term strategy based around five cross-cutting themes which frame the choices the Council needs to make about its budget both next year and in future years.

 

The Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing (Councillor Sheila Bailey) attended the meeting to present the report and respond to councillors’ questions.

 

Proposal 4: Community Safety Services

 

·         Following longstanding difficulties experienced with transient groups of young people committing anti-social behaviour across and outside the borough in past years, it was commented that it was important that as part of any new arrangements, intelligence sharing between and within agencies and partners was robust and effective.

·         It was commented that Stockport Homes did a very good job of handling issues of anti-social behaviour with their tenants, however it was queried whether there was sufficient expertise within the service to deal with much wider and more complex issues of anti-social behaviour on a boroughwide basis.

·         A councillor commented that it was a positive move to have a single service responsible for dealing with anti-social behaviour.

·         It was confirmed that Stockport Homes would provide a comprehensive service to address anti-social behaviour to all areas of Stockport regardless of whether they had any of their own housing stock in that locality or not.

·         In response to a query about the removal of security patrols from certain properties and whether this would contribute to an increase in associated criminality or anti-social behaviour, it was stated that often patrols had been introduced in response to a specific issue, and that a review would take place of all current patrols to determine whether there was a still a need for a patrol at each location in light of the prevailing situation in each area.

 

Proposal 7: Public Realm

 

·         Concern was expressed in relation to service reductions in this area where there were already problems resulting from reduced patterns of maintenance and that this proposal would result in a perception that Stockport was being ‘run-down’.

·         Reductions in maintenance of grass verges may result in an increase in trips and falls by vulnerable residents caused by overgrown vegetation encroaching on the footway.

·         The proposals to reduce cleansing cycles and mowing frequencies in parks may encourage local residents to take increased ownership of their locality; however this provided an opportunity for increased community engagement, the Council cannot simply pass its responsibilities onto local residents.

·         There was a risk that those groups and organisations which already played an active part in the maintenance and upkeep of parks and public spaces may increasingly feel ‘put-upon’.

·         Further clarity was requested on those specific areas within parks and open spaces which would be subject to reductions in grounds maintenance.

·         There was the potential that these proposals may incur a bigger cost the town in terms of public perception that the savings proposal will achieve.

·         The Cabinet Member clarified that a lot of the discussion suggested that the Council would no longer undertake routine maintenance or collect litter, when in fact the proposal was to do things in a different way to a different schedule.  It was stated that while greenspace was a personal priority and it was regrettable that these proposals had been brought forward, there simply was not the resource available to continue to provide the service in the way it was currently done; and that the priority for the Cabinet was to defend the most vulnerable people in the community and to allocate as much resources as possible to vulnerable adults and children in care and so budgetary reductions had to explored from elsewhere in the budget.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.


Meeting: 15/01/2019 - Adult Social Care & Health Scrutiny Committee (Item 6)

6 Medium Term Financial Plan Cabinet Response: Out Budget Choices for 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To consider a joint report of the Cabinet Member for Health and the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care.

 

The Cabinet has developed a four year medium term strategy based around five cross-cutting themes. These frame the choices the Council need to make about its budget both next year and in future years, the five themes are:

 

        Getting the most out of our spending;

        Improving Customer Experience;

        Making sure we have the right property in the right places;

        Sharing services with other organisations;

        An organisation fit for the future.

 

A suite of proposals have been developed by Cabinet which forms the first phase of this programme for 19/20. Scrutiny has since received a series of updates on the development of these proposals. This report forms the latest update and in line with the update provided to committees in November, particular includes consideration of proposals for 2019/20, prior to Cabinet decision-making in February.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to comment upon the proposals appended to this report.

 

Officer contact: Holly Rae, 0161 474 3014, holly.rae@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Members for Adult Social Care and for Health submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Scrutiny Committee to consider the Cabinet’s proposals to address the Medium Term Financial Plan forecasts. The report included the results of consultation exercises or interim feedback where those consultations were ongoing, as well as Equality Impact Assessments.

 

Proposal 3: Support Funds Co-ordination

 

The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care welcomed the constructive feedback received from the public, stakeholders and councillors during the consultation and confirmed that the Cabinet was not intending to proceed with the proposals to remove the Stockport Local Assistance Scheme from 2019/20 pending a further review of funding options.

 

Scrutiny committee members welcomed the amendment to the proposal and the commitment to further review funding sources.

 

The following issues were raised:-

 

·         Concern was expressed at the high proportion of the total SLAS cost being administrative/ staffing costs (38p in every £1 spent) particularly given the Council’s success in reducing such costs in other areas of activity. Councillors nevertheless acknowledged that many users of the scheme may require more intensive, non-automated support. It was suggested that consideration should be given to options to share back-office support with partners offering similar support.

·         Surprise was expressed about the proportion of funds used to pay for school uniforms and it was suggested that the Council should encourage schools to consider the affordability of their uniform requirements.

·         The unanimity of support for the scheme from those engaged with the focus groups across a range of backgrounds was emphasised. It was commented that the model of consultation should be form a model for future engagement.

·         Further information was sought on alternative options or models for the delivery of the SLAS as referenced in the report. In response it was stated that further work would need to be undertaken and it was unlikely that there were organisations or providers locally who would be in a position to take up this service. A commitment was given to submit any further options or proposals to a future meeting. It was also commented that this proposal should be seen within the context of the aspirations for a strategic commissioning of services.

·         The quality of the report and the level of analysis was commended.

·         It was commented that the feedback and analysis indicated that there may be shortcomings in the signposting to the SLAS and therefore unmet needs in the borough.

 

Proposal 5: Stockport Local Transport:

 

(i)            Town Centre Metro Shuttle Bus

 

The Director of Public Health reported that the consultation for this proposal was ongoing and that to date the number of responses had risen to 550. She confirmed that the majority of responses either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the proposals and that the comments received were within the following broad areas (in descending order of frequency):-

 

The impact of the removal of the shuttlebus on

·         older residents

·         residents with disability and mobility difficulties

·         residents on low incomes

·         the Town Centre economy

 

The following issues were raised:-

 

·         It was commented that the shuttle-bus was currently the only bus directly serving Stockport Rail Station and that Transport for Greater Manchester should be approached to discuss alternatives. In response it was confirmed that discussions were ongoing and it was highly likely that the route of at least one existing service would be altered to serve the station.

·         While the loss of the service was regrettable given the financial pressures on the Council it was difficult to justify continuing to subsidise this service that could be provided on a different model.

 

(ii)       Free School Bus Passes

 

·         Concern was expressed about the impact of the proposed changes on the educational opportunities and experience of some the most deprived communities in Stockport.

 

Proposal 6: Support and Governance

 

·         Proposals to protect frontline library services were welcomed, particularly in view of the opportunities libraries provided to residents who might become isolated.

 

General  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6